Term 1 Hand-in PDP

The aims of this term was to begin the pre-production stage of making an animated short film. I came back after the summer break with a rough idea of what I wanted to make a film about. After producing some initial thumbnail storyboards I had some visuals of the themes, concepts and structure I wanted my film to be based on. My first idea was to use a cellist performing to classical music as a way of taking his anger out on career path or his menial job. I had the idea of the cello eventually being destroyed as a metaphor of the characters feelings and emotions towards his situation. I tried to develop this idea further into a solid narrative but found it difficult to construct a strong story in order to give the film meaning. I came to a decision to revert back to my first idea of buildings or urban scenery being destroyed in synchronisation to classical music. After weeks of drawing up thumbnails and developing a solid narrative I had a rough outline of my film and the form it was going to take. As this animation revolves around the audio I found it beneficial to start putting the main scenes onto a timeline to visualise the structure. I began adding scenes until I eventually had a rough version of an animatic which i was happy with. After this I realised that this production would need time put aside for the making of the puppet, sets and props. This being in the medium of stop-motion everything must physically made. I immediately began the design making process  which was very time consuming. I often ran into problems in regards to the possibilities of shots and the design of sets. I sometimes had to avoid ideas for shots because of the time scale I have to work with. I started with the puppet and sculpting the head. I took time to figure out how the head was going to be animated, playing around with ways that I am going to use replacement faces for facial expressions. I also made maquettes, models and drawings figuring out the scale and ways in which these would be shot on camera. This making process involved a great deal of trial and error, sometimes things did not go to plan and I would have to rethink the design and re build things. I sometimes even had to change aspects of the design for efficiency reasons, for example, I was able to combined 3-4 different sets into the one which means that I would only have to produce one model rather than 4 different models of the same space. A good example of this is the different areas inside of the crane cabin which I was able to combine into the one set. Over all I feel that this term has been successful even after getting off to a slow start and some hold backs from the leading narrative. I feel that the development process of designing and making is taking longer than expected and needs to move quicker if everything is going to be ready for the animation stage. I believe that the difficult part of  problem solving is over, with all the main designs done I can now proceed quickly into prepping the scenes ready to animate before the start of the next term. I think that I could have produced more test animation especially focusing on animating the demolition scene as i feel this will prove the most challenging. I could have also experimented with mould making and casting techniques earlier in the term so that these skills would improve and ultimately be evident in the finished, working puppet. On the whole I think that I have dealt with the pressures of this project but need to start picking up the pace so that the making process is completed and ready to animated before next term.


McVitie’s “Sweeter Together” animation

This short animation, made for the purpose of an advert is particularly interesting to look at in terms of how the narrative is told through the carefully composed shots. The narrative follows a crane driver who wants to share his break with the rest of his colleagues, however, the distance between the rest of them seems far and isolated. The character seems to feel lonely and wants an opportunity to engage with his fellow colleagues. The solution of this is revealed to be the giving gesture of a McVitie’s biscuit. The reason I have chosen to analyse this animation is because I intend to use a similar idea of a crane/machine driver who is also quite isolated. It is important to examine the kinds of shots that are selected for this animation as is plays a big part in effectively telling the story. Some of the higher and close up shots really play on the idea of distance from the rest and the feeling or isolation.  Other ideas which could influence my thinking would be the way this animation uses the environment and the concept of the building site to convey the message. For example, the clouds in the sky block the characters view, the birds playing around on the crane and the large metal beams spelling out a “Hi” greeting. These all add to the story and plays on the feeling of loneliness or the idea of distance/isolation. Again looking at the shots, this similar idea could influence ways of framing my character in my own film in regards to the way he is shown inside of the crane at work.

Whiplash (2014)

The Performance

URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TAfvMn8_EQ(Accessed 02/10/2018)

This clip is a scene from the movie ‘Whiplash’ (2014) Directed by Damien Chazelle. This particular scene is the final performance of movie where by the character proves his teacher wrong and shows he is of the greats within his role as a jazz drummer. The reason for selecting this clip to look at is to look at the art performance and how it is represented on screen. The use of cinematography here is very important to look at. The lighting is warm and harsh in some shots giving a feeling that you are watching something special. The camera angles include many close-up shots of the characters face and instruments with sweat or even blood drips on them, showing the effort and determination this character is putting into this performance. There is also some shots which are filmed in slow motion along with the muted audio. This I believe could suggest that the character is almost dreaming or ‘in the zone’ of his performance as he has finally achieved what he has always wanted.

As the narrative for my project includes aspects which rely on the idea of a performance to convey a message I have found it very useful to look at how the scene from this movie has effectively shown this. All these things stated above are important to look at and take into consideration when looking at the performance aspect as they can be used to communicate the message or feeling to the viewer.


URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDAsABdkWSc(Accessed 01/10/2018)

The clip above is a scene from the movie ‘Whiplash’ (2014) Directed by Damien Chazelle. This scene depicts an angry music teacher shouting at one of his musical students as he struggles to grasp the skill of keeping up with his tempo. The student is seen to be under so much pressure that he becomes upset and ends up in tears. The idea of classical music and the pressures that are put on young musicians is closely related to my major project idea. This scene shows a good example of how pressures are put on a character in order for them to effectively carry out their role, in this case the character is a drummer for a jazz band.

‘Modern Times’ Charlie Chaplin (1936)

The YouTube clip pasted above is a scene from the movie ‘Modern Times’ (1936) Directer by Charlie Chaplin. This scene in particular depicts Charlie Chaplin eventually going crazy from the struggle of repetitive menial work in what looks like a factory. The scene uses comedy to show how this type of boring or repetitive factory work can drive a person almost crazy.  The reason for choosing to look at this scene is because I feel that it could be a representation of the ‘Alienation theory’ by Karl Marx. Karl Marx talked about alienation of the worker and act of production.

My other post looking at Karl Marx’s theory in more depth:https://wp.me/p7XmRB-9q

This alienation theory is evident in the above clip and the use of comedy represents this very well. The clip outlines the idea of how modern work can sometimes effect us in a bad way and where by work becomes something that we are pressurised into in order to get paid, or ultimately, survive. I feel that this clip is very important when thinking about my own work because it shows how comedy can be used to represent this key theory around the effects of modern work in a capitalist society.

I feel that not only does this clip give me a good example of how I could use this theory in my work, but it has also given me some ideas which I could possibly use within the narrative of my major project. The character(Charlie Chalpin) at the start of this clip is seen to be involved in a struggle of keeping up with his repetitive and mechanical role in the factory. The character is then seen to do something crazy and such as jump into the machinery and chase around the other workers. This gives me the idea of using a similar narrative where by the worker eventually goes crazy within their working role as a result of this alienation from their product/act of production. As well as this aspect I am also considering using a second character within my narrative which would represent the pressures of the capitalists. This is also evident within the clip when the boss is seen to be shouting at the worker keeping him on track with his role. This proves to be the cause of the workers act of craziness.

Final project: Reference Material

It is my intentions to include the role of a percussionist as a base for this narrative. In order to effectively show this, I will need to examine how a percussionist plays the cymbals as part of a live orchestra. I found footage of this from YouTube which is beneficial when looking at movement and also timing. It could also give be helpful in looking for a fitting audio for my project.

URL Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTz_J7rxakg (Accessed 07/06/2018)


Sports Project: Research and Ideas

After thinking about the main concept of the animation I conducted some research on other popular sports channels which use the textures, forms and shapes of the equipment as the main subject of their title sequences.

I came across a sports ident on YouTube which creatively uses the equipment as a concept for the animation. In the video below the textures of the balls appear to wrap around and collide with one another, effectively changing the sport each time. This idea of quickly changing from each sport (being represented by the ball) is what i want to use within my own animation.

Url link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTB3EPacZE0(Accessed 05/06/2018)

The method here appears to be CG which is rendered as very realistic imagery. I intend to recreate this kind of effect using studio lighting within the CG software to make the visuals as realistic as possible. I will play around with the material properties within the software to achieve realistic colour and textures. I will also try to use creative movement within the animation to transition each scene or link them with one another.